‘Firmin the Crawfish’ pardoned by Lt. Gov. as season ramps up
BREAUX BRIDGE, La. (WAFB) - “Firmin the Crawfish” was granted his freedom by Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser during the 7th Annual Pardoning of the Crawfish event.
Nungesser along with the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board gave an official pardon to Firmin (FUR-men) on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
Parc Des Ponts Breaux along Bayou Teche in Breaux Bridge was the site of this year’s event.
Usually held on the first Tuesday following Mardi Gras, the annual pardoning celebrates crawfish season in Louisiana and across the Gulf South.
“Louisiana is the largest domestic producer of crawfish, producing about 150 million pounds every year. It only seems fitting that we would pardon a crawfish in Breaux Bridge, the Crawfish Capital of the World. At least this little guy will be saved from ending up on someone’s plate during the Crawfish Festival in May or on restaurant tray or in a backyard boil. In true Louisiana fashion though, we had to have a party complete with music, food, family, friends while we bestowed his pardon,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.
“No matter where you go in Louisiana, you can find something that will Feed Your Soul, from our culture and arts to our cuisine and history,” he added.
The crawfish is named “Firmin” in honor of Firmin Breaux who built the first footbridge across Bayou Teche to help make crossing the bayou easier for family and neighbors. This bridge became known as “Breaux’s Bridge” and would eventually be the name of the city officially founded by his daughter-in-law Scholastique Breaux nearly 30 years later.
In keeping with tradition, Barry Toups, owner of Crawfish Haven and Mrs. Rose’s Bed & Breakfast in Kaplan, caught and selected the guest of honor for his pardoning.
Firmin was taken to Parc Des Ponts Breaux along the Bayou Teche where he was the king of his own procession to his new habitat.
To celebrate the guest of honor, festival queens from around the state made their way to Breaux Bridge to witness Firmin get his freedom.
The students of St. Bernard School made crawfish decorations and marched to the ceremony with Firmin while waving crawfish flags and wearing crawfish beads.
After his pardoning, the Louisiana Office of State Parks took Firmin to Lake Fausse Point State Park in St. Martinville, Louisiana, where he will live out the rest of his days burrowing in the mud, swimming in the bayou, and making the state park his new home.
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